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Questions to ask your liposuction surgeon

Liposuction is one of the most commonly performed plastic surgery procedures with the purpose to contour the body. The procedure consists of the removal of fat cells from different areas of the body where there is an excess of adipose tissue.

Liposuction can be performed on any area of the body including the face, neck, arms, abdomen, thighs, hips, calves, and even the knees. The steps involve creating small incisions where a tiny tube called a cannula is inserted to dislodge and suction fat out of the body. The cannula is connected to a powerful suctioning medical device. Depending on the number of areas to be treated and the estimated amount of fat to be removed, the procedure can be performed either with a general anesthetic or local anesthetic with sedation.

When considering liposuction, it is essential to find a plastic surgeon that is experienced and talented enough to provide you with the results that you desire. Moreover, the plastic surgeon should be able to answer in great detail all your questions related to the intervention. Here are some questions to ask your liposuction surgeon:

What does the liposuction procedure entail?

The liposuction procedure shouldn’t be used as a substitute for a proper weight loss method. Liposuction won’t help you lose the weight you accumulated over time due to multiple pregnancies, the natural aging process, or unhealthy eating habits. If you are overweight or obese, you will need to try a diet and exercise routine first to help you shed off the excess kilograms. However, if your weight is normal and you accumulated fat pockets in certain areas of the body, liposuction can help you enhance the appearance of your body by achieving a smoother contour and nicer curves.

Liposuction is a plastic surgery procedure in which the surgeon will eliminate the visible excess fat tissue at the subcutaneous level. It is a procedure with a moderately low risk of developing complications, and the patient can choose the type of anesthesia to be used according to the surgeon’s recommendations. After the adipose deposits are removed, the patient can enjoy a new body shape that she can be proud of.

How long does it take for liposuction to be performed?

Depending on the level of adipose tissue accumulated on the area or areas targeted with the procedure, the duration of the intervention can vary. Generally speaking, liposuction is considered to be a procedure with a low difficulty grade and lasts in between one and two hours. The procedure can take longer if there are multiple areas to be treated during the intervention. Undergoing liposuction is not uncomfortable for the patient as you will be under the effects of either local or general anesthesia, depending on what the surgeon will recommend for your particular case.

How is the recovery period?

If the surgeon has extracted a large amount of fat, the patient might be required to spend the night in the clinic under the supervision of the medical staff. Routinely, the procedure is performed on an outpatient basis. This means that within a few hours after your procedure you are free to relax in the comfort of your home, go shopping, or even see a movie with friends. The level of pain and discomfort to be experienced after liposuction varies from patient to patient and is more related to the patient’s ability to tolerate discomfort than the side effects of the procedure.

Pain medication and antibiotics will be prescribed and it is recommended to take them, even if you are feeling great and they seem unnecessary. Elastic bandages will cover the areas treated, and a girdle is mandatory to be worn for at least a few weeks post-operatively. Not wearing the girdle can result in unsatisfactory results, as well as more swelling and bruising, which are normal side effects.

Liposuction is considered to be one of the procedures that provide some of the most impressive results in terms of improving the body’s appearance. However, the final results won’t be visible immediately. It can take up to a few months for the swelling to subside and this is when you can evaluate the success of the intervention.

Is it possible to gain weight again in the areas treated with liposuction?

A responsible plastic surgeon will tell you that the only condition you need to follow to sustain the results of your liposuction procedure is to maintain a constant weight. After liposuction, a certain amount of fat cells will be completely eliminated from the body. These cells will never find their way back, and they won’t be replaced by other adipose cells. However, what can and will happen if you gain weight after liposuction is for the fat cells that are still in the areas treated to increase their volume. Before this is noticeable, other areas of your body that were not subjected to liposuction will develop adipose deposits too.

Can liposuction cause trauma to the muscles and internal organs?

When liposuction is performed by board-certified plastic surgeons, the risks of muscle and organ damage during liposuction are minimal. The muscles are under the area from where fat is extracted, so the cannula shouldn’t go that deep. However, when liposuction is performed in unsafe conditions, in hotel rooms and by people who have not been trained properly, the risks are exponentially increased and the complications can be life-threatening.

Are complications possible after liposuction?

Liposuction is still a surgical procedure, and there is always a risk of developing complications despite the talent and experience of your plastic surgeons. Some complications can’t be avoided while others are considered natural side effects. Infections can occur in rare cases, just as well as bleeding. Accumulation of fluid and blood at the incision site is also possible. Swelling and bruising are normal side effects that develop due to the internal trauma that was caused to the lymphatic system during the procedure.

Removing more than 5 liters of fat can trigger life-threatening complications. A certain level of numbness in the area treated is normal and is a temporary side effect. Asymmetries and small changes on the skin can also occur in the form of bumps and contour imperfections.

What happens to the skin in the area treated with liposuction?

After the intervention, the skin undergoes a contraction process to adapt to the new shape. When a larger amount of fat of extracted, the required contraction level is higher and this is one of the risks as the skin can retract differently in different areas. This varies depending on the age and skin type of the patient.

Who are the best candidates for liposuction?

Generally speaking, people of all ages can undergo liposuction. However, the results tend to be more impressive on people with a good skin quality, of a young age and with a normal weight. The initial weight of the patient is very important when considering liposuction. If the patient is overweight or obese, the results won’t be as impressive as for patients with a normal weight.

Will I be left with scars after liposuction?

The incisions performed to allow the cannula to dislodge and suction the fat are no longer than 3-4 mm. This means that the scars will be barely visible in the long term. Skin discoloration can occur if the patient doesn’t follow the surgeon’s recommendations and allows the areas treated to be exposed to the sun.

Conclusion

Any person requires a certain level of body recontouring at some point in life. The natural aging process, weight fluctuations, multiple pregnancies, as well as hormonal imbalances can leave its toll on the body. Nowadays, there is no need to worry that you will never have the body shape you once had because liposuction can be successfully used to recontour the body and give it nicer curves and an improved profile. After liposuction, many patients feel like it took years of their bodies and they look younger and more energetic.

It is important to choose an experienced plastic surgeon for your liposuction intervention. A true professional dedicated to providing impressive results will avoid the risks entailed by the procedure at all costs.

Plastic surgery has evolved massively during the last few decades, and the techniques used now are performed with modern equipment and materials. Liposuction has become a rather easy intervention to perform, but the patient should be fully aware about the details of the operative plan, the expected results, and what is required from her after the procedure is performed. Asking your liposuction surgeon the right questions and getting detailed answers will help you prepare for your intervention properly.

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